4/19/2006

Question...

The Jehovah's Witnesses stopped by with a message of happiness for me. I listened, and agreed with them that following the bible probably would bring me happiness. Then they shared a scripture from Matthew telling me the secret to happiness was developing a spiritual outlook on life, and attending to our spiritual needs. No argument there. I took a Watchtower, and an Awake magazine, declined their offer to have them come back in a week to discuss it, and they left. The whole experience was very polite and friendly in nature. Here's the thing, though: When I started looking at their magazine, it gave me a list of 'ingredients' in the 'recipe' for happiness. Nothing really new or alarming - be forgiving, avoid the love of money, being thankful, and at the top of the list was the scripture from Matthew, telling me to develop a spiritual outlook on life. I looked at it for a second, and thought - "that says Matthew 5. Matthew 5 is the sermon on the mount. I don't remember that scripture from the sermon on the mount." Knowing that my scriptural knowledge is not always the strongest, I looked it up. Indeed, they referenced Matthew 5:3, which in my book, is part of the sermon on the mount. Christ is giving the beattitudes (sp?), and while His words are definitely the best way to find happiness, it clearly was not the same scripture they shared with me. Do the JW's use a different version of the Bible? I then tried to search for the words 'spiritual' and 'happiness' and they don't even show up in Matthew at all, in our standard works. Does anyone know about this?

20 Comments:

Anonymous Last Lemming said...

Do the JW's use a different version of the Bible?

Yes. It's called the New World translation and it is designed to support their theology. According to their website, Matthew 5:3 reads as follows:

"Happy are those conscious
of their spiritual need."

4/19/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Last Lemming said...

Whoops. that's just the part on their home page. The full verse is as follows:

"Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them."

If you want to check out other verses, go here.

http://www.watchtower.org/bible/index.htm

4/19/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Haszard said...

Up close and personal Jehovah's Witnesses can be wolves in sheep's clothing.

Think about this-When the devil comes knocking on your door he may not have the 'dark goth look'.They could be smartly dressed and wielding the Christian Bible.

I have Jehovah's Witnesses family in the usa who practice the Watchtower JW enforced ritual shunning that i have not seen or heard from in 15 years.

The central CORE dogma of the Watchtower is Jesus second coming (invisibly) in 1914 and is a lie.Jehovah's Witnesses are a spin-off of the man made Millerite movement of 1840.

A destructive cult of false teachings, that frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well as needless deaths (bogus blood transfusion ban).

Yes,you can 'check out anytime you want but you can never leave',because they can and will hold your family hostage.

The world has the Internet now,and there are tens of thousands of pages up from disgruntled ex-Jehovah's Witnesses like myself who have been abused by the Watchtower cult.

Jehovah's Witnesses are often a mouth that prays a hand that kills.The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world.
----
Danny Haszard former Jehovah's Witness X 33 years and 3rd generation www.dannyhaszard.com

4/19/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth-W said...

I had a pleasant run-in with two missionaries/Witnesses on Monday. I had just opened my garage door and was putting kids in the car when two men in suits came walking past the garage door (they'd been ringing the door bell and I didn't hear b/c we were going to the garage. Anyway I screamed b/c they startled me--I really hope they didn't think I screamed b/c it was the JW's :)) My daughter said, Hi Elders! They looked surprised and I said that she thought they were Mormon missionaries from our church.

That aside, I think your question is so interesting. I had always assumed they used KJV-shows how little I know. Did a little googling and learned some new stuff. Thanks for the opportunity to learn a bit today!

4/19/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

I always feel a little sorry for the Jehovah's witnesses who proselyte in Utah. Nobody wants them there, really, and I can't imagine there are many converts. I could be wrong, though.

I had a Jehovah's witness experience in Arkansas that was a little bit weird. This guy knocked on my door, and Jacob answered it, naked. I told the guy (witness? missionary? What do you call them?) to hang on, I just needed to get the baby a diaper, and I turned my back on him. I then heard the door slam, and whipped around, terrified that somehow the guy had just grabbed Jacob and ran. (Jacob was probably just shy of 2). Paranoid, I know, but that was the weird feeling I got. Of course it was Jacob who had slammed the door. Whoops! I quickly put the diaper on, opened the door, and apologized for slamming the door. He handed me a magazine (have no idea now what it was), and he left.

2 weeks later, however, there was another knock on the door, and there stood the same guy, only this time he had his "companion" with him, a middle aged woman who was much more aggressive. I remember it was Conference weekend, and we were listening to Conference on the internet. They offered something to us, and Nate said, not really that politely, "No thank you." Then here is the weird part--the guy turned to the woman and said, "There's the child. That's him." The child? I instinctively grabbed Jacob's hand, thanked them for coming by, we weren't interested, and practially slammed the door on him again.

Why would he point out Jacob, 'the child'? I was totally weirded out. Maybe he was just pointing out what a fabulously cute toddler I had, but that's not the tone or the vibe I got. I am glad they never came back.

4/19/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Trivial Mom said...

I've only had one run in with the JW's. They came by my apartment when my husband wasn't home. I listened for a minute and then explained that we were very happy with the church we had. T

hey asked which one and I said 'the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.'

The one lady just starred at me and asked in a confused voice 'who', to which I responded 'we're Mormon.' She said oh, gave me a disgusted look and just turned around and left.

Later when my husband came home, I told him about it, and he said that there was no way that the lady didn't know the real name of the church, and probably was just stalling for time, trying to think of something to bash the church with. My husband ran into a lot of JW's on his mission and doesn't think very highly of them.

4/19/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Kaimi said...

They use a different translation. It's their own production.

Their official line is that it's a better translation of the Greek/Hebrew than the corrupt KJV.

Now, the KJV is certainly open to criticism. But the JW translation has been heavily criticized for not being faithful to the original sources, and for importing JW theology.

4/19/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

I have a bias against them because my first husband's ex girlfriend was a Jehovah's Witness and she tried to steal him from me and I've never forgiven her, even though he's been dead for 33 years and I haven't seen her in 34. I can hold a grudge.

Every time I see one, I think "Nancy Johnson was a bad word."

4/19/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

My experiences with Jehovah's Witnesses haven't been bad, but definitely different. I think on the whole, the JW missionaries are seen a lot like LDS missionaries by those not in their faith. I tend to have some sympathy for their missionaries going door-to-door, probably getting lots of rejection - I sympathize because I can just imagine my DH getting similar reactions when he was on his mission. IN the town I grew up in in Oregon, there was a large JW congregation with several nice families who I feel really believe their church's doctrines.

Although, Heather, that is a creepy thing the guy said about your boy!

Anyway, our most interesting encounter with the JW missionaries was a week or so before Christmas. The pair came to the door and gave a little message on why you shouldn't celebrate Christmas - and our house was fully decked out in all our holiday finery! DH was very polite and responded, "Well, you can see, we celebrate Christmas, but thanks anyway." Seems like a hard time of year to try to sell that message.

4/19/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Nicki said...

On my mission my companion and I ran into a JW woman taking her garbage out to the curb at night. Of course we stopped to talk to her and were immediately confronted with hostility. She said that Joseph Smith was a horse thief and a murderer. I, being a tactless 21 yr. old new convert, laughed and said that Joseph had his horse stolen and was murdered. I didn't know if the horse thing was true; it just came out. Looking back I could have handled things much better.

I also had a great experience on my mission with a JW and terrible ones with born again Christians and other religious people. I came to realize that just like our church you've got good ones and bad ones. It's just sad that people of Christian religions are being taught to immediately distrust and in many cases hate one another because of what they think a name represents.

4/19/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

A friend of mine's dad is a JW, and he is a really nice man. We don't talk religion, but he's a nice man just the same.

I do think a lot of non-member folks lump us and the JW missionaries together- they just don't hav any idea how different we are from each other.

The only thing that has bothered me about the JW proselytes is that they take their small children out canvasing with them. Even before I was a member, this just seemed odd.

But we should be very careful about throwing stones... There are a lot of Christians who would also be very critical of our inspired scriptures and seek to disparage or belittle them- simply because they don't understand or have a testimony like we do. I guess my point is, to the WORLD, we look an awful lot alike.

4/20/2006 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger Basic Stuff said...

Look people around the world think Mormon Missionaries are just as weird and bothersome. So when the JW's come to your house remember the Karma you're sending when you belittle, gossip about or publicly trounce the JW's belief. The same experience karmically speaking will most likely revisit the Mormon Missionaries around the world. I find this topic deplorable and mean spirited. All religions have their quirks and funny doctrine. Its basic stuff...

4/20/2006 02:52:00 AM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Basic-

I don't the The Wiz was gossiping, belittling, or trouncing anybody. She asked a simple question about an experience she had with JWs. A positive experience, I might add. Others have just expressed different kinds of experiences and opinions, but I don't think anybody (well, except Danny Haszard) has outright said they think JWs are evil for believing what they do. Everybody is entitled to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. Like you said, it's basic stuff.

And I'm sure the JWs and mormon missionaries could tell very similar stories about how they are treated around the world. Bottom line--most people don't like getting knocks on their doors from missionaries who openly want to convert them. I think it's an ineffective tactic for both mormons and JWs, and most missionaries will tell you they tract as a last resort, and without much success.

4/20/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

basic stuff-

I know our missionaries are often viewed in the same way as JW's. I almost didn't post this because I was afraid it would be viewed in the way you viewed it, or it would turn into JW bashing, which was not my intent at all. I simply wondered if they used a different Bible, and knew that people out there are far more knowledgeable than I am about it. I guess I could have just used Google, but i did think that would take me to a lot of anti-sites, which are not helpful.

With our Book of Mormon, D&C, PoGP, and JST, we are certainly not averse to the idea of different scriptures than the KJV. (acronyms!how I love them) I simply didn't know they had a different version. Sorry to offend.

4/20/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

Oh, of course, basic, I assumed this was tongue in cheek. I know a lot of nice people who are JW's as well.

But one tried to seduce my husband and oh, I am going to pee on her grave.

4/20/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Ana said...

Once on a real bad mommy day, two JW missionaries came by my house. My policy is to talk with them, accept their reading material, let them know I'm LDS and not planning to change, and wish them well. So that's what I did. The magazine they left with me had an article about the importance of mothers. Now, it's not like we never hear that message in the LDS church. But that day someone else delivered it to me, and I was grateful. I'm sorry for anyone's negative experiences with any church, especially one that causes someone to see fellow human beings as the devil knocking at their door. But this day these two old gentlemen were certainly angels to me.

4/20/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

I think our missionaries could learn quite a bit from reading a thread like this one. For example, the one man who referred to Heather's son--he may have told his companion about the incident in a bemused tone, but at the door it didn't come across that way and weirded Heather out (understandably). Makes me wonder how many times our missionaries say something innocent which freaks someone out or comes across entirely different from what they intended. Think about it, even referring to each other as "companions" these days can imply something more than "roommates who teach gospel lessons together".

Heather's correct--people don't like having someone knock on their door to "sell" them something. That means when we're doing the knocking, we have to be extra careful.

4/21/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

The contact I had w. a JW family in NY was very positive. They were a really friendly, outgoing and generous extended biracial family that lived in my apt building. In fact, the mother was my son's speech therapist, so she spent a lot of time in our home. We never really talked religion...but I wanted to ask a ton of questions that probably weren't appropriate. I eventually concluded either: A. JWs have to deal with a lot of lies circulating about their religion, much like we do or B. Like NYC Mormons, NYC JWs tend to be less orthodox about their religion than their general body of membership.

The holidays were really confusing...I really wanted to get her a nice gift for all of the work she had done for my son .... but I didn't want to offend or make her turn it down....so I didn't get her anything.

4/21/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous JKS said...

The JW who came to my door a couple times were nice older ladies. I was polite. However, the second time they came I answered the door while on the phone. I just remember one of them saying as she looked into my toy strewn living room "You're on the phone again? YOu really are a stay at home mom."
I was kind of ticked. If someone makes an appt. with me, I'll clean up and be ready for their visit (sans phone). But there I was having a perfect good adult conversation with a friend and she's the one who interrupted me by knocking on my door unannounced. PLaydates can be fun, but if both of you have a few kids, it can be crazy. Sometimes, it is easier to pick up the phone than go over to someone's house.

4/21/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Donna Shea said...

Tracey M., You are a true voice of reason and compassion!

4/24/2006 10:30:00 PM  

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